Episode 158: Data-Driven Marketing in Travel and Tourism, with Humphrey Ho

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As the U.S. managing director for China’s largest independent advertising agency, Humphrey Ho helps American brands reach their ever-growing base of Chinese consumers. Spearheading the opening of Hylink‘s American headquarters in Santa Monica, where he resides, Ho has scaled the operation up to 40 employees and secured the company’s key spots with industry leaders like Brand USA and Hawaiian Airlines. In September of 2018, Ho successfully launched Hylink’s subsidiary, Hylink Travel, a Shorty Awards-winning agency specializing in social and digital campaigns for travel brands.

Mr. Ho has been featured in various publications, with recent examples like The Drum, Digiday, AdWeek, Buzzfeed, and Ad Age. Mr. Ho was named a finalist for Digidays 2019 Future Leader award and was also tapped by Forbes magazine as one of the top 8 Asian-Americans Shaping the Travel Industry.

In this episode of Destination on the Left, Humphrey Ho is back to give us a detailed look at the data and tracking methods used to target the Chinese market. He explains data-driven marketing and how it differs in each segment of the travel and tourism industry. He describes the difference between branded and performance campaigns, and how to measure their effectiveness with new tools.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How different segments in travel and tourism look at data and rationalize their performance
  • How data-driven marketing is used with U.S. brands in the Chinese market
  • The new ways DMOs are accessing and leveraging data to reach Chinese travelers
  • Why DMOs are putting a lot more effort into brand love as they target China
  • The challenges DMOs face when targeting multi-cultural audiences
  • Hylink Radix and why you should be using it
Leveraging Data to Reach the Chinese Market

Back in episode #151, Humphrey Ho took us on a deep dive into the evolving Chinese travel market. He discussed the drastic shift in Chinese travel behavior, the opportunities amidst political turmoil between the U.S. and China, and the multi-destination collaborations that have successfully targeted the Chinese market. In this episode, Humphrey gives us a detailed look at the other side of the coin. He explains data-driven marketing and how it differs by segment. He describes the difference between branded and performance campaigns, and how to measure their effectiveness.

Measuring Effectiveness in China

For DMOs, the user demographic is changing and visibility is becoming more of a challenge in the Chinese market. When a DMO runs a campaign targeting Chinese travelers, it directly affects their partners too. As a result, DMOs are using data like traditional brand marketers to forecast all of the implications and the campaign’s overall effectiveness. DMOs have a responsibility to figure out what their brand means to the Chinese and it is more important than ever before to remain in-market. By accessing and leveraging data in new ways, DMOs are becoming more effective in doing so.

Episode Transcript

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